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    Force wary of Matfield factor

    2014-04-24 07:45
    Cape Town - The Western Force are wary of the threat that veteran Bulls lock Victor Matfield could pose in their Super Rugby encounter in Perth on Saturday.

    Matfield will skipper the Bulls following the three-week suspension of Flip van der Merwe for punching.

    Van der Merwe is only eligible to play again on May 11, which means Matfield will lead the side this Saturday as well as the home matches against the Cheetahs (Saturday, May 3) and Stormers (Saturday, May 10).

    The Bulls appear on the ropes, having lost all three their games on tour to slip to ninth spot on the overall log.

    However, Force lock Sam Wykes feels the Bulls will be confident with Matfield in charge.

    In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald website, Wykes said it's unbelievable for Matfield to still be playing at the age of 36.

    He said any Bulls team that has him leading them is going to grow in confidence every time, and that hearing a speech from him before the game has to be 'pretty amazing'.

    "Some of the things he's done in games, like chip and chases and scoring at Test match level, is special."

    Wykes also said the Force had enlisted the help of former Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp - who now plays for them - in their efforts to interpret the Bulls lineout calls.

    Kick-off for Saturday's clash at NIB Stadium is at 11:40 (SA time).

    Teams:

    Force:

    15. Jayden Hayward, 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 13. Marcel Brache, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Nick Cummins, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 9. Ian Prior, 8.  Ben McCalman, 7. Matt Hodgson (captain), 6. Angus Cottrell, 5. Sam Wykes, 4. Adam Coleman, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 2. Nathan Charles, 1. Pek Cowan

    Substitutes: 16. Heath Tessmann, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Ollie Hoskins, 19. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20. Brynard Stander, 21. Justin Turner, 22. Zack Holmes, 23. Chris Tuatara-Morrison

    Bulls:

    15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Dean Greyling

    Substitutes: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Ulrich Beyers

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